Sunday, December 31, 2017

Operas written since 1945: an impressive list

Vagne Thierry has created an impressive (and extensive) list of operas written since 1945. He includes the names of composers (with dates and nationalities), titles of their works, and links to their websites and to media (CDs and DVDs).

Just glancing through I learned that Beth Anderson wrote an opera about Queen Christina of Sweden (so now I don't have to), Giancarlo Aquilanti wrote an opera about Lot's women (so now I don't have to), and Hubert Bird wrote an opera about John Dee, the Astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I (so now I don't have to).

I see friends on the list: Gary Bachlund's fable operas are on the list, and a good number of Seymour Barab's operas are there (with links).

Mr. Thierry kindly sent me an email message letting me know about the list (my operas The Snow Queen, Sister Beatrice, and EMMA are listed). I imagine he sent messages to all the living composers on the list with an email address, and that other composers are looking through the list and enjoying it as much as I am. I could spend all day with this (it took an hour just to make it through from A to C), but I will have to wait until later to dip in again. There's a lot to be learned from this list.

Writing an opera is a HUGE amount of work, and is, in my case, a labor of love. That love is so often unrequited because works by "unknown" composers are so rarely produced these days. I would venture to guess that most of the operas on this list have had few performances, and that many have never been produced.

Thierry is doing a great service for the musical community. I'm hoping opera-minded people (i.e. people who like to produce and perform operas) might find material for future productions here.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Greeting the New Year With New Music

I'm greeting 2018 with a piece for two trumpets (which can also be played by two clarinets, two French horns, or two euphoniums).

Here it is played by computer-generated trumpets.

Listen to how different it sounds when played on computer-generated clarinets, French horns, and euphoniums.

You can find a PDF on this page of the IMSLP.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Concert in January: Vasilenko, Bowen, and Ravel

On the program:

Vasilenko Viola Sonata, Opus 46
Ravel Sonata Posthume
Bowen 2nd Sonata for Viola and Piano

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Friday, December 08, 2017

Ben Miller's article about James Levine

Ben Miller's relationship with the Boston Symphony was a lot like my relationship with the Boston Symphony, although the music director during Miller's childhood (a generation after mine) was a far greater musician as well as a far greater monster. The parents of the kids in Ben Miller's cohort (we used to refer to ourselves as "orchestra brats") made sure to inform their children about Levine's pedophilia in order protect them.

This eloquent article is well worth reading.

[I'm so impressed with Ben Miller's writing that I'm sharing his webpage here.]